"Pain is magnified and perpetuated by fear. It is, conversely, diminished by calm observation." Mary Pulig Schatz (MD and yoga teacher).
This discernment is particularly challenging for those of us who experience chronic pain, in which the bodymind can become so highly sensitized in attempting to adapt to an injury, threat or trauma, that it develops protection patterns which can be hypervigilant and overreactive - on guard even once the threat is gone.
It is important to practice in an anatomically efficient, pain-free range of motion that does not exacerbate our discomfort. But when pain is present, can we hold it and ourselves in compassionate and curious awareness, remembering that we are not in pain, the pain is in us.
"When [we] learn to breathe in a way that supports feelings of comfort, safety and joy, [we] can actually choose these experiences over suffering." Kelly McGonigal (PhD psychologist and yoga teacher)